The B and C of viral hepatitis has merged

Over the past two years, the goal of eliminating hepatitis C has been merging with the goal of eliminating hepatitis B. These distinct diseases, which in the past had usually been covered separately in the media, have been increasingly lumped together under the term “viral hepatitis.”

They have similar symptoms but come from different viruses and have different treatments. B can be vaccinated against and treated—but not cured. C can be treated and cured—but there is no vaccine against it.

So the world needs a hep B cure and also a hep C vaccine. Science continues to look for these remedies.

An RNA-interference drug is being tested in Texas. It has shown progress toward curing Hepatitis B.

In the past 25 years, at least 20 potential Hep C vaccines have been tested on animals, and clinical trials continue.

One hopes all of the researchers will succeed. Then in the future, when people talk about “viral hepatitis” they might not be talking about two distinct diseases, but instead about two extinct diseases.

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